Ducere Holdings was named last night as the winner of the Green City Startup competition, a R3.7m competition aimed at unearthing creative green entrepreneurs whose ideas could help boost Johannesburg’s green ethos.
Ducere Holdings has developed a new, hydraulic version of hybrid transmission for vehicles that offers fuel savings of up to 70% and significantly reduced emissions. This transmission, called MISER, can be fitted to existing vehicles and won the start-up R1 million in cash to boost the growth of the business.
First runner up Solid Insight was awarded R400,000 to further develop its cloud-based technology solution for managing resources in buildings accurately and in real time.
Third place went to Rydawi Fish Farms along with a cash prize of R300,000. Rydawi’s product, Farm-in-a-box, is a complete farming system, ready to add water and Tilapia fish which is ideal for small scale farmers.
The Green City Startup competition, now in its second year, was developed by The City of Johannesburg, in partnership with the University of Johannesburg and Resolution Circle. Resolution Circle is the University of Johannesburg’s technology commercialisation company and incubator.
The challenge began in January 2016 when ideas that could change the world and accelerate innovation in Joburg were sought. 187 proposals were received, which were reduced to eight finalists. Each of the eight finalists received R250 000 to build a prototype of their ideas.
They were also offered in-depth technical support to improve their ideas and help them present their pitches. These finalists presented their prototypes and business to a panel of judges including an independent team of entrepreneurs and technical experts earlier this month.
In addition, The Green City Startup has developed a tv and online magazine show that highlights the competitors, entrepreneurship news and offers tips for startups. It is being broadcast on MindSet Network DStv Channel 319 and via YouTube.
Ravi Naidoo, executive director: Department of Economic Development, says, “This competition accelerates green innovation in Johannesburg in terms of our buildings, energy and water use, transport and waste. We had a surge in entries this year, which is great as we want Jozi citizens to be conscious of creating a greener city as they live, work and play here.”
Last year’s winner, Paseka Lesolang, says that winning the competition in 2015 boosted his business and resulted in job creation as he ramped up mass production of his WHC Leak-Less Valve™ which prevents up to 70% of the water loss in the case of a toilet leak.